By Kahlil Gibran
96 pages (?) pages. Alfred A. Knopf. Prices vary.
This review is part of my plans for “A Book A Month”, that is, every month I’ll choose a book among the ones I’ve studied and post a short review of it here.
Now, if you are interested enough to get started with the idea of “A Book a Month”, and yet lazy enough to read nothing more than a hundred pages, then The Prophet (1923) by Kahlil Gibran may just be the starter for you! Written by the Lebanese-American artist, philosopher and writer Kahlil Gibran, the book has been translated into more than 50 languages and has never been out of print ever since, selling millions of copies worldwide. Said to be “practically ignored by the literary establishment in the West”, it has inspired various international figures (Including The Beatles 😉 ). The Prophet, divided into 28 chapters, is a book of 26 prose poetry fables. The book starts with the central character Almustafa (prophet or gypsy?), who is about to sail back home after his 12 years exile in the city called Orphalese and engages in a dialogue with the townspeople before leaving. There is less (or no) action and more contemplation as the book touches upon some of the most common aspects or phases of human life, leading the reader to a contemplative, self-reflexive stage. Various critics have explored connections and parallels to the mysticism of the Sufis, William Blake’s works, Transcendentalism and so forth. Whether to accept generously or argue vehemently against what is written is another issue, what is important about the book is that; it opens the grounds to do so.
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran